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BUDGET 2013: What will be in it for me?

Published on Feb 24, 2013 5:30 AM
 
Mr Tay Keng Leong (left), 60, with his wife Ong Buay Huay (right), 44 and children Hock Soon, 3 (in orange), Yong Mu, 11(in blue) and Lay Teng, 9. They live in a one-room rental flat in Hougang. -- ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

LOWER INCOME FAMILY

Mr Tay Keng Leong, 60, a cleaner

Home: Lives in a one-room rental flat in Hougang with his wife, 44, a housewife, and their three children aged 13, 11 and nine.

Family income: $640 a month which is supplemented by financial assistance schemes.

My biggest worry now is: Having enough in my bank for rainy days and to be able to provide for my family should they fall ill. My salary as a cleaner has not increased since 2006, but expenses are getting higher. To supplement my income, I go around collecting discarded furniture and appliances and send them to recycling centres where I get some extra cash.

The Government should: While I welcome aid of any kind, I understand that we can’t always depend on the Government to provide everything for us.

Every month, the Community Development Council gives me $300 for day-to-day expenses, $50 to pay for my flat’s rental and $60 for utilities.

Both my primary school-going children get a total of $110 every month as pocket money from a Family Service Centre (FSC). The FSC also gives us supermarket vouchers and canned food regularly, as does the Workers’ Party. My home is in the Workers’ Party’s ward.

I hope the Budget will: We live frugally - every $10 is precious. Despite this, we still find it difficult to cope with the higher cost of living. The bulk of my income goes to paying for groceries and transport. The Government can consider giving lower income families like mine transport subsidies and vouchers to ease our financial burden.

For more news and analysis on Singapore Budget 2013, click here for ST's Big Story coverage.

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